Thursday, June 30, 2011

How easily the lies flow ...

From the keyboard of the professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley, As’ad AbuKhalil.

In this post, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Israel, he still inserts Israel as a bonus for his avid readers, who I suspect can never have enough of slander, contempt and eliminationist lusts fed to them through any opening in their proverbial bodies. A blogger like AbuKhalil understands well what his readers are looking for and he has no ethics to contain or circumscribe his bile, none whatsoever.

Here is the insertion:

" Israel killed more than 1300 civilians in the July war on Lebanon in 2006, and you want me to spend sleepless nights wondering who killed a man who did so much to cause destruction and discord in Lebanon?"

How easily the lies drop from the professor's keyboard, considering that:

" For the first time, a senior Hamas official admitted that between 600-700 security personnel—approximately half of whom were Hamas members—were killed during Operation Cast lead.

Following Operation Cast Lead, Iran-backed Hamas reported that fewer than 50 of its men were killed.

The admission made by Fathi Hammad, Hamas' interior minister, in an interview with Al-Hayat corroborates figures reported by the Israel Defense Forces following the operation."


Please note that the prof's statement would have been a lie even before Hamas revealed its own body-count.

This is an academic person, who is entrusted with the teaching of young students about how to read and interpret, how to maintain an objective distance and a critical alertness, how to obtain and verify knowledge, information, truth.

But then what else would you expect from the same person when, being bored with himself, posts a strange comment like this, out of nowhere and for no discernible reason or provocation:

"Ehhhhhhhhhh

I hate when Israelis speak English they follow every word with "ehhhhhhhhh". As in: Israel ehhhh is ehhhh justified ehhhh to ehhhhh massacre ehhhhhh Arab ehhhh children ehhhhh."

Can anyone provide a plausible explanation for such ventilation? Is it anything at all except a verbal fart? Mind you, this is a professor teaching in one of America's most famous universities.

____________

Update: I always tell my kids that anger makes you stupid. I am mortified that, in my anger about the professor's lies, I read too fast and made an error in the reference to the war he was actually citing. Commenter liamalpha provides a corrective:

Hi Noga,

AbuKhalil is talking about the 2006 Lebanon war and you're mixing up with the 2008 Gaza operation. The professor is no doubt an Israel hater, and ignores the fact that Hezbollah hid inside civilian areas, and, but according to Wikipedia (if it is reliable), 500-600 Hezbollah fighters and around 1200 (UN figure) Lebanese civilians were killed in that conflict.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Lebanon_War


However, in the Hebrew Wikipedia it is claimed that the UN figure for civilian casualties includes the Hezbollah fighters, which will put the number of civilian deaths at 600-700.


http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%9E%D7%9C%D7%97%D7%9E%D7%AA_%D7%9C%D7%91%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%9F_%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%A0%D7%99%D7%99%D7%94#cite_note-1


The funny thing is , the corrected info does not change the lying and slandering, only calibrates the data.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Peace Flotillas to kick peace in the groin

I.

Kevin Myers defines the frightening parody: "
As another insane flotilla prepares to butt across the Mediterranean bringing "aid" to the "beleaguered" people of Gaza, in its midst travelling the MV Saoirse, does it never occur to all the hysterical anti-Israeli activists in Ireland that this is like worrying about the steaks being burnt on the barbecue, as a forest fire sweeps towards your back garden? [--]

The colossal western intellectual dissonance between evidence and perception on the subject of Israel at this point in history can perhaps only be explained by anthropologists."

I offer two theories in an effort to make sense of the insanity. We are, after all, dealing with human beings whose capacity for malevolent emotion is boundless and cool, factually-based reasoning -- limited and atrophied.

First theory harks back to Edward Said's sanctimonious analyses of history, for which he was singularly unsuited and unequipped:

In After the Last Sky (1986) he wrote:

"There has been no misfortune worse for us than that we are ineluctably viewed as the enemies of the Jews. No moral and political fate worse, none at all, I think: no worse, there is none. With so much discussion recently of the Holocaust, I am centrally aware of the fact of the destruction of European Jews, an abomination which nevertheless I find hard to consider separately; there is always the connection made between Israel and the Holocaust, how one makes restitution for the other. I find myself saying that a generation later the Holocaust has victimized us too, but without the terrifying grandeur and sacrilegious horror of what it did to the Jews. Seen from the perspective provided by the Holocaust, we are as inconsequential as children on a playground; and yet - one more twist in the reductive spiral - even at play we cannot be enjoyed or looked at simply as that, as children playing games that signify little. Just by virtue of where we stand, every playground is seen as a 'breeding ground for terrorists', every pastime a 'secret plan for the destruction of Israel', as if our own destruction was not a great deal more probable. Something either pernicious or negligible can be attributed to us, no matter what we do, wherever we are, however we think or act." (p 134)

This is key: "I find myself saying that a generation later the Holocaust has victimized us too, but without the terrifying grandeur and sacrilegious horror of what it did to the Jews."

Peace Flotillistas and such are determined to make up by rhetoric and spectacles of pathos and solidarity, what reality has failed to achieve for them do-gooders to realize their potential for do-gooding. Thus, if Jews were the victims of the Nazis and Palestinians the victims of the Nazis's victims, then on the scale of victimhood, you can't get any more victim than that. Enough said.

Second theory: The extreme left/genocidal Islamist alliance is a sort of a new entity, a hybrid between the violent religious aspirations of the latter with the raw, unadorned tough moral purity of the previous. This new entity should actually terrify us. It is a cult with ideals and rituals that defy common sense, intelligence, knowledge, cool reason. Think about the druid human sacrifice in the movie 'The wicker man" and you might get a sense of what kind of hermetically closed and implacable fanaticism we are dealing with.


II.

Insane just about nails it when you consider Alice Walker's righteous declarations of absolute solidarity with the ultimate victims of Gaza:

"FP:
Is the goal of this mission, though, to just raise awareness, or is it to actually deliver supplies?

AW: Well, our boat is delivering letters. So what we're trying to draw attention to is the fact that the blockade is still in effect. On the other boats there will probably be supplies. I haven't checked but probably things like sewage supplies."

The excuse for contriving a violent international incident with Israel's IDF is the urgency of the humanitarian needs of the Gaza dwellers. Yet here is Walker delivering letters and not even bothering enough about her humanitarian mission to ascertain whether, if at all, any life-saving supplies will be carried by the flotillas. To me it seems that there is a limit to what an Israel-hater like Walker can lie about, so she does not even try to pretend she cares.

III.

But no such restraint can be detected in the support pronounced by this Canadian politician . Please note the analogies provided by the honourable gentleman: The distress of Gaza's people is openly and declaratively compared with the distress caused by the tsunami in Japan and the earthquake in Haiti.

To paraphrase Oliver Kamm's rule of thumb concerning analogies: Analogies are never exact but sometimes useful. If they are to be useful, then at a minimum, the source of the analogy ought to be stated accurately.

If analogical reasoning involves two "objects": the source and the target. The target is supposed to be incomplete and in need for a complete description using the source. In this case the source is indicated as distress caused by the tsunami in Japan and the earthquake in Haiti.

The target that needs to be described and conveyed fully is the alleged humanitarian crisis in Gaza. If, as we have seen from records, photos, and films, the target is misrepresented to the viewer/reader as being an equivalent of the source examples, then how are we to refer to such analogies?"

Have you any suggestions?

__________

Update I:

(H/T: K2K): Benny Morris on Alice Walker:

"Among the do-gooders joining this year's flotilla is African American novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Alice Walker, who wrote last week in the London Guardian: "Our boat, the Audacity of Hope, will be carrying letters to the people of Gaza. Letters expressing solidarity and love. That is all its cargo will consist of". She then lauded Ghandi and Indian freedom strugglers and Jewish civil rights activists who helped blacks gain their rights in the American South. It is unclear how the 67-year-old Walker knows what is in the hold of the flotilla's ships. Nor does she seem to know that mail reaches Gaza regularly, without the intercession of American do-gooders. She appears completely unaware that Israel has good reason to fear arms smuggling to the Hamas (not to mention the Hamas's declared aim to annihilate Israel) and appears not to have heard of the ongoing, 100-year-old Israeli-Arab conflict, that has little in common with a minorities' struggle for equal rights. But Guardian readers will no doubt be moved by her moralizing affirmation "that the Arab child, the Muslim child, the Palestinian child, the African child, the Jewish child, the christian child, the American child, Linkthe Chinese child, the Israeli child, the Native American child, etc. is equal to all others on the planet." I liked the "etc."

___________

Update II:


"The Second "Freedom Flotilla" is a joint and coordinated effort of several groups working to delegitimize Israel on a global scale. The claim of the organizers that they are seeking to relieve the siege of Gaza and to provide urgently needed humanitarian aid rings completely hollow, given the vast economic improvements the territory has been witnessing. Indeed, the New York Times reported on June 25, 2011, that "two luxury hotels are opening in Gaza this month." The report from Gaza continues with a description of a "second shopping mall" about to open and "hundreds of homes" under construction.1 The motivation behind the flotilla is thus clearly political. All the groups involved have separately sent ships and land convoys aimed to "break the siege" of Gaza in order to hurt Israel's image."

_____________


Update III: Nathalie Rothchild:

"Today, denouncing Israel seems to be one sure-fire way of creating a sense of consensus at a time when there are few issues that unite people in the West. So everyone from one-hit-wonder authors to street-cred-seeking politicians, from Nobel Prize laureates to Islamists, wants a piece of the anti-Israel action. It has become a badge of honour for members of respectable Western society to be able to stake a claim in the struggle against Evil Israel and in defence of The Children Of Palestine – whether they do it by going native and moving in with families in the West Bank, by donning that trendy political garment the keffiyeh, or by taking to the high seas in boats where journalists nearly outnumber crew members, which means you might get your name and photograph in an international newspaper.

Today, following the Arab uprisings, many Western radicals are envious of these foreigners who seem to be expressing their political passions in a way that has become alien here at home. So for some, boarding the flotilla this year looks like a chance to play a role in the changing set-up in the Middle East. (The Canadian boat is even named Tahrir, after the square that became the epicentre of the Egyptian uprising.) But this is not political solidarity as we might have understood it in the past. Rather this flotilla is riding on a wave of Western narcissism. And in the end, it’s the Palestinians who will pay the price for it – not only by being reduced in the eyes of the world to the level of helpless children who need Alice Walker to mother them, but also by potentially becoming the targets of Israel’s unpredictable, defensive responses to being put under the global spotlight once again."

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

In defence of sex slaves

From MEMRI:

".... religious scholars and experts .... said that for the average, good religious man, the only way to avoid forbidden relations with women is to purchase slave girls.

[…]

I very much hope that such a law is legislated. Just like they allow servants, they should allow slave girls and legislate a proper law in this regard. We don't want our children to fall into the abyss of fornication and similar filth, God forbid. Allah willing, things will work out.

There are countries like Chechnya, which are at war with another country. In such a case, there must be POWs, so why not go and buy those prisoners? Is it better for them to be slaughtered over there? Go and buy them, and sell them to traders here in Kuwait."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Comment Trail: Justice by injustice, the new universal law of human rights

The picture on the right shows five members of the Fogel family. To the casual eye, they may appear human enough, a mom, a dad, three little kids, each looks like a human being. But you would be wrong, for these are not really members of the human race. These are Jews. Worse. They are Israeli Jews. Even worse, they are "settlers".

According to this Israeli author, Irit Linur, in a private conversation with a radical Leftist journalist writing for Haaretz, the latter told her that he wouldn't drive 100 yards to rescue the life of such a species, a "settler" (שיחה פרטית איתו, אמר לי פעם שהוא לא היה נוסע מאה מטר כדי להציל את חייו של מתנחל, ). I get the impression that his reluctance to save such babies is not unique to him, due to some particularly evil inclination; it is actually a moral duty shared by many of the anti-Zionist crowds that populate our planets and universities. It is a position to flaunt with pride. And all that flows from such a position is, as per definition, virtuous.

Hannah Arendt reminds us that those who seek absolute justice, according to their own selective pity, like Robespierre, would say: “Par pitié, par amour pour l’humanité, soyez inhumains! ” . It is an instruction, a moral duty, for those who seek justice, to employ any means possible, including the means of lying, slandering of innocents, manufacturing of false facts, and justifying murder. From the injunction to be inhuman in the pursuit of justice, it was but a step to the implementation of mass terrorism. But nothing could stir real, human, pity in the hearts of the great Terror architects of the French revolution because, as with every radical seeking "justice" since, they were convinced they had God on their side. They didn't call that absolute omniscient moral authority under which they acted "God" but it was and remains, just as powerful as any God you might stumble across: not to be questioned or thwarted.

Thus we have all sorts of moral paradoxes done in the name of universal justice, including the delusion of promoting "anti-racism" with openly declared racism of a different stroke.

And here are two other examples I came across, today's yield of the poisons trapped in the mud:

@ Eye on a crazy planet: At the University of Toronto, students are indulged when they count Jews and their professors make excuses for antisemitism:

My comment, awaiting moderation approval:

"After rewarding Janet Peto's anti-Semitic thesis, U of T continues to prove that anti-Semitism is wrong unless it's taught at the graduate level by 'educated' professors."

_____________

I checked out this thesis and stopped reading after a minute, having encountered this first hard fact provided by her:

".. mentioned Baruch Goldstein – the Jewish settler who, in February 1994, had massacred over 50 Palestinians while they were praying at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron."

According to wikipedia:

"Goldstein was an American-born Jewish Israeli physician who perpetrated the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in the city of Hebron, killing 29 Muslims at prayer there and wounding another 150."

The very first piece of easily accessible and verifiable information she mentions in her thesis is an exaggeration and a lie.

Why claim Goldstein killed more than 50 when he killed 29? Isn't 29 a large enough quantity of dead bodies to be outraged about? Why the need to lie, then?

What kind of a cause for justice is it that it requires lies to maintain its pathos?

And this fast and loose playing with facts seems to be an acceptable academic form in this university:

"Bhuyan then said the donor plaques at the university were all from rich Jews, which she felt proved her point. Aside from being factually wrong, "

Why "Aside from being factually wrong", as if this were some negligible aspect of academic education? Where will academic institutions be when facts are no longer facts but guesses, rumours, lies and intuitions in the service of the favoured agenda of individual faculty members?


@ Engage: The mover and shaker behind West Dunbartonshire Council’s boycott of Israel contextualizes the beheading of a 3 month old baby:

My comment:

Banning Israeli (Jewish) books. Justifying the horror of beheading a three months old Israeli (Jewish) baby. What next ?

“Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.” Heinrich Heine

Councillor Jim Bollan seems to be on his way to that lowest point of no return. And what do you know, all done in the name of universal justice and human rights.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

44 Years ago

Another reminder:

Thanks to "It's complicated" blog for posting these cartoons











What do you think? Is it racist to post these reminders, these infamous records of history which much of the world wishes to forget ever took place? People who speak of going back to the 1967 borders as if 1967 never really happened?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

44 years ago, today ...

(Via: Martin Kramer Sandbox):

"44 years ago today, on June 7, 1967, Israeli forces entered the Old City of Jerusalem and raced to the Western Wall and Temple Mount. One of the best descriptions appears in Michael Oren's book 'Six Days of War,' Kindle: http://t.co/pvKTqpU. At the link: documentary film from the day that changed the history of Israel and the Middle East."


This video

And this song, In praise of Jerusalem


A reminder of what might have been:


"We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants," declared Palestine Liberation Organization leader Ahmad al-Shuqayri. "As for the survivors -- if there are any -- the boats are ready to deport them." A half-million Arab soldiers and more than 5,000 tanks converged on Israel from every direction, including the West Bank, then part of Jordan. Their plans called for obliterating Israel's army, conquering the country, and killing large numbers of civilians. Iraqi President Abdul Rahman Arif said the Arab goal was to wipe Israel off the map: "We shall, God willing, meet in Tel Aviv and Haifa."

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Comments Trail:

@ Norway and Jews: Livni, Israel's first female foreign minister

Comment awaiting moderation:

“…and b) that Tzipi Livni was Israel’s first female foreign minister and party leader. ”

In 1956, {Golda Meir] became Foreign Minister under Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Her predecessor, Moshe Sharett, had asked all members of the foreign service to Hebraicize their last names. Upon her appointment as foreign minister, she shortened “Meyerson” to “Meir,” which means “illuminate.” As Foreign Minister, Meir promoted ties with the newly established states in Africa in an effort to gain allies in the international community.[17] But she also believed that Israel had experience in nation-building that could be a model for the Africans. In her autobiography, she wrote: “Like them, we had shaken off foreign rule; like them, we had to learn for ourselves how to reclaim the land, how to increase the yields of our crops, how to irrigate, how to raise poultry, how to live together, and how to defend ourselves.” Israel could be a role model because it “had been forced to find solutions to the kinds of problems that large, wealthy, powerful states had never encountered.” (wikipedia)

When a journalist makes this kind of blatant error, testifying to near perfect ignorance of Israel’s history, why would anyone at all take anything she says seriously? Is the Norwegian readership so uneducated? Or is it that the journalist systematically and consistently underestimates the intelligence and degree of knowledge of her readers? Or maybe she counts on her readers’ readiness to read and believe all the smut she throws at Israel?


@ Bob's, the rabid Zionist:

"On the allegation that there is no political diversity amongst the in the comments here apart from the obvious dissenters, because everyone is pro-Israel and therefore Zionism is the key to what is acceptable. I am gob-smacked: only a completely but perversely Ziocentric reader could come up with this analysis. "

I don't understand why you are gob-smacked. Any non-Zionist who criticizes Israel without:

- relying on lies, rumours, slander
- using a double standard, one for Israel, another for the rest of the world
- scrutinizing Israel's behaviour through a magnifying glass while ignoring the other side's provocations
- expressing mandatory contempt and suspicion for Israelis or their supporters

is, as per definition, a Zionist.

It is so according to Levi. And I agree with him. Because anyone who provides constructive criticism which is genuinely concerned with peace, and respectively, Israeli and Palestinian self-determination, statehood and safety, cannot but be a Zionist. I take my education in this matter from reading, among other sources, Levi's blog and Angry Arab blog both of which share a very broad definition of what "Zionist" means. It is basically: if you are not with Palestinian positions 100%, you are against Palestinians 100%, and that, in effect, makes you a flaming Zionist.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Criticism of Israel that is/isn't antisemitic -
A Guide for dummies












Someone has gone to some trouble to provide a simple, step-by-step analysis/guide to determine whether a criticism aimed at Israel is antisemitic and therefore illegitimate, or can be regarded as straightforward, valid and relevant criticism of Israeli policies and therefore acceptable, by using a simple flow-chart.

Here, as wellLink

















































I'm sure there is some room for tighter calibration but the general purpose is served.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Quotes from an Arab spring that make your heart sink

From the Jerusalem post:


"Fatah has never recognized Israel’s right to exist and will never do so, according to Azzam al-Ahmed, a member of the Fatah Central Committee who is closely associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Ahmed, who is also head of the Fatah negotiating team with Hamas, said PA security forces in the West Bank were arresting Hamas supporters to protect them from being targeted by the IDF.

Ahmed’s remarks were made in an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al- Youm.

Asked whether Fatah had spoken with Hamas about recognizing Israel, the senior Fatah official said, “Fatah has not recognized Israel. I challenge anyone who says that the case is otherwise, whether it’s Hamas or others. Neither Fatah nor Hamas is required to recognize Israel. Only governments and states extend recognition. It was the Palestinian government that recognized Israel, just as the Israeli government recognized us.”

Ahmed said the PLO had recognized Israel with the signing of the Oslo Accords.

“An organization recognized a state and a state recognized an organization,” he said."



@ Angry Arab (AKA As’ad AbuKhalil, former Scholar-in-Residence at Middle East Institute in Washington DC., former free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News, and now professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley.)

It is clear. There is a pattern in the Western press. They are now orchestrating a campaign (in cahoots with US governments and pro-US dictatorships) to warn of the dangers of democracies in the Arab world. They warn that if Arab democratize it will jeopardize the status of gays and religious minorities in the Arab world. Let me get this straight: the US wants to keep Mubarak and House of Saud and Salih and House of Thani in power because it fears that if they get replaced, the welfare of gays and religious minorities would be undermined? Are you kidding with me?

And this:

"A former deputy chief of Egypt’s court of appeals, Judge Mahmoud al-Khodheiri, recently expressed a common sentiment about the gas deal in an interview with Al Jazeera. “I consider the export of gas to Israel an act of treason, and we should stop it,” he said. “I salute the people who bombed the gas pipe because this is my blood that is being transferred to the enemy.”"


@ Mick Hartley's: :

"Egyptian cleric Mazen Al-Sarsawi, speaking on Nour Al-Khaleejiah TV:

When the mujahideen fight a country, they say to its people: "Covert to Islam. That's our only demand. We don't want anything else from you – we don't want your money or your country. All we want is for you to enter Paradise with us." Is there anything more lofty than this? […]

Do they kill the infidels if they refuse to convert? No, they don't. The Muslims say to them: "Let's remain friends. You pay us the jizya poll tax, and we will make sure you are safe. We could easily fight you and take over your country, so you are better off paying the jizya, and we will protect you." […]

It is said: "If they refuse to pay, seek Allah's help and fight them." You tell them to convert – they refuse. You tell them to pay the jizya – they refuse. That means they have evil intentions. Fine, we will fight them."